Review: The Barbary Pirates, by William Dietrich

The Barbary Pirates
The Barbary Pirates: an Ethan Gage Adventure
William Dietrich
Harper, 336 pages
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A few weeks ago, I was offered the chance to receive an ARC of the latest Ethan Gage adventure, The Barbary Pirates, by William Dietrich. In less time than it takes a patient on House to shake off a finger pulse oximeter, I leaped at the chance. After all, I love historical action/adventures – why else would The Eight, by Katherine Neville, be one of my favorite books.

In truth, I’d never read an Ethan Gage adventure, but I’m planning on spending some money at new and used bookstores in town, because I am hooked.

At the risk of ruining the plot, because this book is a mystery, or at least a puzzle, I won’t rehash it. What I will say is this: The Barbary Pirates is a wonderful swashbuckling adventure through history, and includes Napoleon and Robert Fulton as characters, has the Lousiana Purchase and the first submarine as important plot keys, and involves Atlantis, Egyptian History, and a mysterious and creepy (not to mention dangerous) organization called the Egyptian Rite, and of course, all of this has to do with a race to find the Mirror of Archimedes – the device rumored to have incinerated a Spanish fleet – before the “bad guys” can do so.

With romance, action, mystery, and historical figures popping up (Ben Franklin is quoted. A lot.) willy-nilly, this book is a wonderful romp akin to the National Treasure movies and Clive Cussler’s novels. Translation: it’s great fun, and you HAVE to read it.

This review is based on an uncorrected proof of the book. The Barbary Pirates will be available at your favorite bookstore on Tuesday, March 30th.